The church of Olshammar is named after Saint Bridget of Sweden (Birgitta), whose husband, Ulf Gudmarsson, owned Olshammar in the 1320s. Olshammar was then a major estate and brickworks. According to tradition, Birgitta built a chapel where today the church is situated. The church was built in 1620 by Eric Hand, a grandchild of king Erik XIV.
The glass paintings in the form of coat of arms and manufactured in Riga, depicts Eric Hand and his brother-in-arms during the Thirty Years' War. These paintings are very well kept.
The church was restored in 1785 by a German mill owner, Carl von Wahrendorff. The church then got its present look with alter and pulpit built into one unit. This is very unusual in Swedish churches. Wahrendorff furnished the church with several fine ornaments, three grisaille paintings by the Dutch painter Jacob de Wit, a silver chandelier, silver for the Holy Communion etc. Carl von Wahrendorff was a prominent mill owner and did a lot of good for the community, some of which is still visible.
In the beginning of the 19th century Carl Rüttersköld became owner of Olshammar. He was Verner von Heidenstam's grandfather. The church belonged to the estate and when Verner von Heidenstam during the summers stayed at the estate, he used the church as his playground. He made up his own fairyland "Lajsputta" and carved "the centre of the earth" into a brick in front of the alter rails.
The church was built as a mill church and was privately owned until 1982. Today it belongs to the parish of Hammar. Regular church services are held once per month and at main Holidays.References:
Ceský Sternberk Castle is an early Gothic castle which was constructed, named and still owned by members of the same family. Today it is a residence that bears a long historical and architectural heritage and represents an attractive tourist destination open to the public. It is considered one of the best preserved Gothic Bohemian castles.
The castle was initially built in 1241 by Zdeslav of Divisov, later called Zdeslav Sternberg. The development of new firearms in the 14th century posed an unexpected threat to the defensibility of the castle. Its 13th century architects hadn't foreseen the danger of long-range firearms and its reinforcement became a necessity. During this period the Ceský Sternberk castle's fortifications were improved through the construction in the north of a three-story tower, which was connected to the castle by a rampart. In 1467 the castle was seized by the royal armies of George of Podébrady. Later, the ruined castle was regained by Sternberk's aristocracy, who, by the turn of the 15th to 16th century, had reconstructed the castle, renewed its defensive system and expanded it with the construction of a new cylindrical tower in the south and the Dungeon in the north. The castle managed to survive the looting of the rebels in 1627, during the Thirty Years' War. With the death of Jan Václav in 1712, the Holicý branch of the Sternberg family died out and its ownership passed to other families, who in 1751 built the lower palace next to the surrounding wall.
The ownership of the castle was returned to the Sternberg family in 1841 when Zdenék of Sternberg from the Konopisté branch of the family bought it. It remained in Sternberg's ownership until 1949 when it was nationalized by the Communist government of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. After the fall of Communism and the Velvet Revolution, in 1992, Ceský Sternberk castle returned to Jirí's son, the count Zdenék Sternberg, the current owner of the castle.
Ceský Sternberk Castle was originally built as a Gothic castle. Eventually it underwent several periods of reconstructions and further fortification and the Gothic architectural features were in parts concealed by the new reconstructions. Especially the interiors of the castle were realized under the Baroque and Rococo styles. In 1760, the master Carlo Brentano performed the elaborate stuccoing and renderings of the halls' interiors. The castle offers a rare collection of 545 copper engravings, depicting the entire history of the Thirty Years' War. Also, historical weapons and hunting trophies are exhibited within the castle's halls.